ASaint Paul or Saint Publicito? Where does the patron saint of advertising come from?

January, 2024

In the dynamic and challenging world of advertising, there is a special date that stands out on the calendar of every advertiser: the Day of Saint Publicito.

Celebrated each January 25th, this day symbolizes much more than a mere festive occasion; it is a commemoration of the creativity, innovation, and passion that define the advertising industry.

Although not officially recognized in many countries, the Day of Saint Publicito has become a beloved and respected tradition among advertising professionals around the world, especially in Spanish-speaking nations.


Origins and Evolution

There is no clear consensus on its origins, but it is believed that the date was chosen due to its proximity to the conversion of Saint Paul, chosen as the patron saint of advertising for being one of the apostles who preached the word of God with the greatest enthusiasm.

The proposal for the celebration of Advertising Day (Saint Publicito) originated in the agency then known as Bassat Ogilvy & Mather, now Ogilvy&Mather, in the early 1990s, starting as a kind of joke that ended up as an official holiday.

It wasn't until 2015 when the agency Peanuts & Monkeys decided that Saint Paul the Apostle and the saint chosen for Advertising Day, Saint Publicito, should be separated.

For this, they created a campaign to give a face to Saint Publicito and offered a survey for colleagues in the sector to vote for their favourite face, among those of six prestigious professionals in the industry.

The chosen one was the founder of another agency, Honest&Smile. A statue was created with his face on a saintly warrior's body, accompanied by the phrase "because every campaign must be fought."

Currently, according to the State Collective Agreement: “January 25th shall be considered a professional holiday, payable and non-working. However, its celebration, if not coinciding with a Friday, will be moved to the first working Friday following that date.”

That is, Saint Paul continues to hold the date of January 25th and Saint Publicito gets the last Friday of the month.

As a curiosity, it wasn’t until 2019, when January 25th fell on a Friday, and then it was possible to wish a happy Saint Publicito or a happy day of Saint Paul simultaneously.

After the phenomenon of Saint Publicito, and as could not be less, the figure of Santa Publicita appeared, a representative of the role of women in the world of advertising created by the agency Grow.

This agency launched a website that spoke of what the patroness represented and claimed, highlighting the need to give visibility to women working in the sector, and their contribution to it. Hence, today we celebrate Saint Publicito and Santa Publicita on the last Friday of January.


Importance in the Advertising Industry

For marketing and advertising professionals, this day is an opportunity to celebrate their creativity and dedication. It is well known that advertising is an industry where pressure and tight deadlines are the norm, so the Day of Saint Publicito offers a moment of respite and recognition. For these professionals, it’s not just a holiday, but a moment to celebrate their work and their ability to create messages that not only sell products or services but can also influence culture and social perceptions. This day is a tribute to limitless creativity.


Celebrations and Traditions

Ways of celebrating the Day of Saint Publicito vary widely among agencies. Some opt for playful activities such as creativity contests, brainstorming sessions, or small parties within the office.

Other agencies take the opportunity to hold retrospectives of their most successful campaigns, conduct workshops and conferences, or engage in social responsibility activities.

Another common tradition is the awarding of internal prizes, where the most outstanding and creative works of the year are recognized.


The Day of Saint Publicito in Latin America

In Latin American countries, the Day of Saint Publicito has also become a significant celebration within advertising agencies, where the focus is not only on celebrating but also on fostering education and the exchange of ideas among different professionals.

Moreover, in countries like Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and others, this date has become a platform to highlight the importance of advertising in the economic and cultural development of the region, thus agencies organize events that go beyond internal celebration, including job fairs, conferences with industry leaders, and panels discussing future trends and challenges.


Impact on Advertising Culture

Beyond festivities, the Day of Saint Publicito has a profound impact on advertising culture. It fosters a sense of community among industry professionals and highlights the importance of constant innovation, creativity, and adaptation in an ever-evolving industry. This annual celebration serves as a reminder that, while advertising is a business, it is also an art that requires passion and dedication, and a constant pursuit of excellence.


The Day of Saint Publicito is more than just a date on the calendar for advertisers; it is a day to celebrate the creativity, innovation, and collaborative spirit that drive the industry. As advertising continues to evolve with new technologies and trends, this festival remains a meeting point to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and dream about the future of advertising.

The Day of Saint Publicito is a celebration of everything that advertising represents: creativity, innovation, strategy, and a deep understanding of human behaviour.

On this day, advertisers not only celebrate their professional achievements but also reflect on their role in society and the power they have to influence it.

Originally a holiday celebrated only by advertisers, today all those working in the digital, information technology, marketing, and communication sectors regard Saint Paul the Apostle as their saint.
However, this is only the case in Spain, as it is not so in other countries. In Italy, for example, the patron saint of advertising is Saint Bernardino of Siena, for having a role similar to Saint Paul